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  • martindukes

I 'heart' Art

I always loved English and History at school but I guess my favourite class was Art. Drawing was something that always came easy to me and I think most people derive enjoyment from what they can do well. In addition, my childish attempts at drawing cartoons and painting pictures always won me the praise of proud parents and brought me delighted blushes as they showed my lurid masterpieces to friends and relatives. As I was growing up, I found my Art lessons to be amongst the most fulfilling. Imagine my distress when, at the age of fourteen, I found that my school’s subject option scheme obliged me to choose between Biology and Art. Naturally, my parents, who still nurtured hopes that I might grow up to be a scientist, insisted that I choose Biology over Art. Instead, I was obliged to study Woodwork as a practical subject, a subject I despised and for which I had precisely zero aptitude. My woodwork teacher, soon despaired of my ability with the saw and the chisel. Although my homework drawings of tools were of the most exemplary standard, my attempt to make a yacht resulted in hilarious failure and I was eventually allowed to sit in the woodstore with a book. I never gave up on my Art, though. My favou

rite teacher was the Art mistress and I used to go and spend time in her studio at lunchtimes and after school. I eventually went to study Art at college, having turned up to interview with no official qualifications at all but a folder full of work I had made in my own time. I’m glad I never gave up, because I ended up teaching Art and Graphic Design for thirty-eight years and apart from writing, (and my wife!) it’s been the love of my life.

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